New York News

Islamic center, utility in dispute over $47K monthly rent

Monday, October 17, 2011
ground zero mosque

The site of a planned mosque is shown two blocks from the World Trade Center, Friday, Aug. 13, 2010 in New York. ( (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan))

The developer of an Islamic cultural center near the World Trade Center site and the owner of the building are in a dispute over rent.

Consolidated Edison owns part of a site that the Park51 developers want to use for the center. The utility says that after an appraisal, the rent for that part has gone up, and now Park51 owes $1.7 million in back rent.

The center has been paying Con Ed about $2,700 a month, a rent that was set back in 1972. But when the cultural center signed a new lease in 2008, it agreed to pay a higher rent based on the market value of the property. That added up to $47,000 a month, a rent that Park51 disputes and refuses to pay.

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In court papers, the developer says Con Ed is using an incorrect formula to determine the rent and back payments owed.

A court date in connection to the dispute is scheduled for November.

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